Saffron production in Afghanistaninfo-icon has increased by 17 percent this year, the Ministry of Agricultureinfo-icon Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) said on Monday.
A statement from the ministry said that during the current solar yearinfo-icon, saffron yield was 4,657 kilograms. The production surge was linked to MAIL’s efforts to promote the crop’s cultivation.
According to the statement, the distribution of 236 metric tonnes of saffron seeds and necessary equipment for its cultivation to 335 farmers helped boost the yield.
The best quality of saffron was produced in western Herat province, said the ministry, which has devised a strategy for extending the crop’s cultivation to 23 more provinces this year.
The climate of Afghanistan is suitable for the cultivation of saffron as the plant has a high-yield rate and could be an alternative to opium poppies. Saffron grows well in temperate and dry climates.
Mild winters with heavy snowfall and hot summers are excellent for the growth and production of the crop. Its vegetative growth coincides with cold weather and freezing conditions.
Saffron is commonly used in spices or colouring of food preparation, making medicine and perfume. Its leaves can be used as animal feed.